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Ethereum: What the top holders’ wallets tell you about ETH’s future

2min Read

The staggering jump in the balance of top wallets this year suggests that whales believe ETH would be largely profitable in the near term.

Ethereum: What the top holders' wallets tell you about ETH's future

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  • The top 10 ETH holders have a combined balance of $51.6 billion.
  •  Long-term holders are committed to not selling.

Five years ago, the top 10 Ethereum [ETH] exchange and non-exchange addresses owned about 11.2% of the total supply. But now, the top holders have extended their reach in the distribution of the altcoin king, Santiment revealed.

Read Ethereum’s [ETH] Price Prediction 2023-2023

Preparing the table in the presence of doubts

According to Santiment, the top 10 addresses now account for 34.6% of the total ETH supply. These coins are valued at $51.6 billion, representing 27.86 million ETH.

As of March 2022, the on-chain analytic platform reported that the cohort holding increased by 4.3% from 2021. This increase ensured that the supply jumped to 23.7%. 

So, the staggering jump this year implies that whales’ conviction that ETH would be largely profitable in the near term may have increased. But was it the same case with the retail brigade?

Well, Santiment’s data showed that the situation was not the same. Based on the information accessed at press time, the balance of addresses holding between 0.1 and 100 coins has been decreasing.

Although the total supply grabbed by this cohort did not sum up to 10%, the fall in balance suggests that most retail holders have been selling a notable part of their holdings.

ETH supply distribution showing the balance of addresses of retail cohort

Source: Santiment

The disparity in accumulation between whales and retail also implies that the sentiment toward the long-term value diverged. 

Still not getting rid of ETH 

However, the holding dominance by whales does not infer that ETH might not face a decrease in the short term. This was because the open interest in exchanges was at a considerably high level.

Open interest keeps track of every open position in a particular contract rather than tracking the total volume traded. 

High open interest usually indicates an increase in liquidity for a contract. This generally means that there is only a slight discrepancy between the market price and the price set on the contract. Hence, open long and short positions could be substantial.

Furthermore, the realized market cap HODL waves were down to 1.307. Similar to the regular HODL waves, the realized Cap HODL waves chart shows how an asset’s supply is distributed across various coin age bands.

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One can also explain the metric as a measure of the combined USD values of all coins when they were transferred to or purchased by a new owner from a previous one.

ETH open interest on exchanges and realized cap HODL waves

Source: Santiment

Therefore, the decrease in ETH’s realized cap HODL waves implies that the majority of the coin owners are not likely to sell. Thus, many may continue holding for a long time.


Victor Olanrewaju is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. Settled in Lagos, his fascination with blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency market arose out of his love of freedom and everything free. As a Nigerian, Victor understands the impact unfounded financial restrictions have on a population. He sees Bitcoin and cryptos as a way to circumvent these obstacles, as a tool for value creation despite all the setbacks. A graduate in Physics, Victor previously worked as a Senior Marketer at Melange Technologies. Before that, he dealt with crypto-marketers on a regular basis in his capacity as Copywriter at Ventrix Media. At AMBCrypto, Victor’s focus is on assessing the real effectiveness of both on-chain and off-chain developments on a project and its community sentiment.
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